Disturbing Mickey Mouse 9/11 Images Trend, Disney Stays Silent

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Nervous Mickey Mouse holding his hands over his mouth.

Credit: Disney

This post contains images that may be upsetting to some. Reader discretion is advised.

The Walt Disney Company apparently has nothing to say about the incredibly disturbing online trend of images of Mickey Mouse as a terrorist committing the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

disney danny elfman mickey mouse
Credit: Disney

Last week, Microsoft’s Bing launched its new “Image Creator” tool, which uses artificial intelligence to create images from user prompts. The AI Bing tool uses the OpenAI DALL-E 3 image generator but, unlike many such programs, apparently does not have significant safeguards to prevent the creation of harmful or offensive content.

Related: Disney Replaces Mickey Mouse With $500 Million Character

At the very least, it appears that prompts can be manipulated enough to produce AI-generated content that depicts Mickey Mouse as one of the 9/11 terrorists, sitting in the cockpit of a plane approaching the Twin Towers.

Obviously, the Mickey Mouse 9/11 AI-generated images are distasteful in the extreme, but, unfortunately, the Internet is full of trolls looking to turn any new tool into an opportunity to do something like this.

What is more strange is that Disney is not responding in any way to the images, which are quickly spreading on social media.

Mickey Mouse looking scared
Credit: Disney

Aside from the inherent crassness of putting Mickey Mouse in a 9/11 scenario, it would appear that the Bing Image Creator is using Disney’s copyrighted material to create the content. Historically speaking, the Walt Disney Company is extremely litigious and very intolerant of any parties using its intellectual property, to the point of infamously suing a Florida daycare in 1989 for using Disney characters in murals.

In fact, Disney is reportedly so concerned with its IP not being used in exactly this kind of AI-generated content that it has heavily modified the code of its various online platforms to block the OpenAI web crawler, GPTBot, from utilizing them.

Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse on Main Street, U.S.A. at Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

It seems that the Microsoft AI tool has managed to get around those safeguards in some way, which is why we now unfortunately, have images of a grinning Mickey Mouse holding a handgun while committing one of the most terrible acts of terrorism in history.

Related: Disney Axes ‘Bluey,’ ‘Mickey Mouse,’ Triggers Furious Parent Backlash

In recent months, it has become apparent that Disney is looking to increasingly minimize the role of Mickey Mouse in the company, likely because a number of aspects of the character are entering the public domain in 2024. While it is still known as the House of Mouse, it seems that parks like Disneyland and Disney World will be filled with more Cast Members portraying Moana and Black Panther than Mickey Mouse.

Moana on stage
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

We will have to wait and see if Disney will make any public comments about the Mickey Mouse 9/11 pictures or if the company is just hoping that this will blow over without anyone being offended. That seems pretty unlikely.

Should AI art be allowed to make these kinds of images? Give us your opinions in the comments below!

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